5 ways you can save the environment

18th June 2021

We only have one planet, and it’s our duty to nurture it to protect our futures and those of future generations.  We should do everything within our power to play our part and help save the environment. To help you find ways to look after your planet, Shepherds Friendly have put together our top 5 ways you can save the environment.

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This is the most common action with a great deal of households separating their cans, plastics and cardboard when taking out their bins. However, you can always go one step further and, rather than throwing away old clothes, donating them to charity will go a long way and help out a lot of people in need. Or, if you want to sell them, sites like Depop and eBay are a great way to make a profit.

2. Save your energy

This is a great method, not only for the environment, but for your own finances tool. There are many ways to save energy at home. For example, you could switch to energy saving bulbs, reduce your water consumption, wash your clothes on a cold setting and unplug devices when not using them. Also, if you have them available, smart meters, smart devices and smartphone apps are a great way to keep track of your monthly energy consumption.

3. Choose your investments wisely

When you invest your savings into an investment plan rather than a standard savings account, those funds are invested into a variety of gilts, bonds, equities, commodities and cash. This will give someone the benefit of potentially receiving a higher return than what they initially invested. However, some of those investments could be managed by businesses which may not operate in line with your values. Such as, businesses in the oil industry, companies with a poor CSR policy or a business which isn’t considering environmental factors in their operations.

Shepherds Friendly have launched a Sustainable Stocks and Shares ISA and Sustainable Junior ISA. These plans aim to help increase your investment, while investing with companies that are leading the transition to a low-carbon economy or driving social and economic development.

4. Reduce your carbon footprint

Carbon emissions or ‘greenhouse gasses’ are one of the leading causes of climate change. Due to the sheer amount which is being emitted and becoming trapped in our atmosphere, its resulting in melting polar ice caps, forest fires, extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels and effecting animal habitats.

In 2019, 27% of net greenhouse gas emissions in the UK were estimated to be from the transport sector, 21% from energy supply, 17% from business, 15% from the residential sector and 10% from agriculture [1].

While businesses and corporations make up a large amount of a countries carbon footprint, there is a lot we can do to reduce our share. Such as, turning off electronics when not in use, keep room temperature low, recycling, taking less flights and reduce food waste etc.

5. Make the switch

To further reduce your carbon footprint and help save the environment, you can make some important switches to your lifestyle.

These changes can be small to large, for example if you don’t want to change your lifestyle too much, you can switch to energy saving lightbulbs, drink tap water, insulate your home and waste less water. These changes won’t have a big impact on your day-to-day life, but in the long run will have a huge effect on your annual carbon footprint.

On the other hand, there are some bigger changes you can make such as, buying fewer clothes, beauty products and electrical goods, switching to an electric car or taking public transportation, walking, or cycling instead of driving. You could also switch to a vegan or plant-based diet, which could help reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73% [2]. This will help reduce the amount of pollution created by the agriculture sector, while also benefitting your health from eating less red meat and more healthy alternatives.

Becoming more environmentally conscious can seem like a daunting task at first, which is why it’s OK to start small. Start by making small conscious decisions like separating your recycling and switching to energy saving bulbs, then working your way to make bigger changes in your journey to save the environment. To measure your progress, check out the WWF carbon footprint calculator.

Sources

[1] 2019 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Final Figures

[2] New estimates of the environmental cost of food